You and I have a few things to talk about.
Yes, there will be spoilers.
1) The angsty villain protagonist stalker creepo is named Joe Goldberg (and played by Penn Badgley, who apparently had something to do with Gossip Girl). Anyway, I’m concerned about him being a Goldberg. I’m all for diversity but this is not going to be good for the Jews.
2) Not that he appears to adhere to any religion, and is actively shown wearing a Santa hat and giving away presents. So maybe a non-Jewish Goldberg. I’m sure they exist somewhere. But probably not in New York City.
3) Our main heroine/stalkee/victim is named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and goes by “Beck” and that makes not a lot of sense when Gwen is a perfectly cromulent nickname and “Beck” was already taken by a Scientologist musician.
4) Joe is the manager (and clear sole proprietor, though we learn more later) of a bookstore that apparently does not require more than two employees (including himself) to run, and also leaves him loads of time to get out and about in the city and the country as he stalks – er, thoroughly researches – his quarry and her various loser friends.
5) It is nice to know that this bookstore, in an age of dying bookstores in general, can survive in New York City with a largely-empty basement that just so happens to have a soundproof, climate-controlled Plexiglas box in the basement. With a little partion to hand things back and forth, like at the post office! A little deus ex machina, anyone? Yes, some books do need to be housed specially, but we all know the minute we see this thing that the real collecting going on is of the human variety.
6) Joe takes up jogging to chase down the sad, spoiled rich girl Peach (PEACH, enough with the names here, good grief). Good: We see he has to build up tolerance to running, and he’s not an instant marathoner. Terrible: When he decides to finally take Peach out not only does he do so at just the right moment – they’ve both run under a pedestrian tunnel – but with a rock twice as big as his hand.
Let’s parse this: Either Joe is running with a rock in his hands or he has to pause to find and pick one up by the side of the path in a place where it’s not like these things just lay around randomly. If he’s running with a pre-chosen rock, other park goers will notice. The camera will notice (and it doesn’t). The run will be slower because: rock weight. If he pauses, we never see it – and then he also manages to time the tunnel-clubbing perfectly? Phleeze.
7) This is not the first time Joe brains someone and fails on the first attempt. You think he’d have learned something the first time around. Also, skulls are very resilient in this universe.
8) Gwenny Beck is just yearning to be a writer. As writers know by now, writers in TV and movies are never going to come close to reality. But even by those low bar standards, Beck is not a writer. She whines about needing to write more than actually writing. She writes single, perfect drafts. She goes from essays and a poem or two to writing a whole novel in a matter of months that scores her an agent and editor and publishing deal – and the admiration of the New York press. And she still can’t find the time to write because she’s just gotta party down.
9) Every. Single. Man. Beck. Hangs. Out. With. Wants. To. Fuck. Her. (And at least one woman.) Some are married. Some are way too old. Some are douchebags. Some are her MFA advisors. Some of her therapists (hi, John Stamos, and ew). But the minute they spend 30 seconds with her, they are grabbing her arms and legs and hands like they are drowning and she is the only liferaft within miles. We already know Beck is desirable, because Joe’s obsessive voice-over reminds us of this every minute or two. Beck is the Mary Sue of the universe, seriously.
10) The last episode? Of course leaves room for a season two. On a show that needed no further seasons. And yeah, I’ll probably be back. I mean, they’ve got to make a musician’s life more realistic than a writer’s, right? Right? Bueller?
11) Of course, all this aside we have to be willing to buy into the psychopathy of a killer who on the one hand protects little children but on the other hand sees nothing wrong with offing his competition and imprisoning those who don’t see his love for what he thinks it is. Those are big hurdles in 2019. I wanted to see where this went, I saw, and … well, there we are. You have been warned.